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Australian military airport controversial

Dec. 17, 2012 at 12:37 PM

TOOWOOMBA, Australia, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Australia's proposed new Wagners Wellcamp airport is arousing controversy.

Australia's Defense is criticizing Toowoomba's Regional Council for a "schizophrenic relationship" with the country's military, risking the future of the proposed

Australian Army Aviation Training Center in Oakey.

Toowoomba Regional Council has tentatively approved Wagners to construct a jet-capable airport under restricted military airspace at Wellcamp Downs.

Wagners, founded in 1989, is a Toowoomba, Queensland construction company.

Australian Defense Association Executive Director Neil James said the Toowoomba Regional Council decision meant that closures of Borneo Barracks and proposed Army Aviation Training Center in Oakey had become much more likely, The Chronicle newspaper reported.

"Toowoomba cannot continue to have its cake and want to eat it, too," James said. "The council's approval of the Wellcamp airport project again emphasizes the local tendency to believe that the Department of Defense's role is somehow merely regional development, not defending the whole country and doing so efficiently."

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